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Pension schemes move back to surplus

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Image caption 2,607 schemes were in surplus in December while 3,953 were still in deficit, the PPF said

Pension scheme finances improved in December, according to the latest figures from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The UK's 6,560 final-salary schemes in the private sector moved from a deficit of £1bn to a surplus of £22bn.

The PPF said this was due to a 3.4% increase in the value of scheme assets during the month.

These had increased at a faster pace than the cost of paying for pensions, which also rose in December but by 1%.

"During the month of December there was a 3.4% increase in assets mainly due to rising UK and global equities," the PPF said.

"However, liabilities also increased by 1% due to the combination of falling index-linked gilt yields and the time value of liabilities [schemes becoming more mature]."

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